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What can we do about climate change?

Heavy traffic in Highway 102 entering Halifax this morning. september 15, 2016.
Heavy traffic in Highway 102 entering Halifax this morning. september 15, 2016. - The Chronicle Herald

Note: Sea levels are rising at a pace unparalleled in modern times and storms are becoming more intense as a result of global warming. This story is part of a weeklong series examining our rising oceans, the impact on our region and what government, scientists and others are doing to track change and mitigate damage.

Click here to read the series.

The two-headed monster of rising seas and climate change is hiding under your bed.

“We hear from a lot of individual Nova Scotians, and from our experience, Nova Scotians understand that climate is changing, they understand that it is human caused,” said Jason Hollett, executive director of the climate change team with the provincial Environment Department.

“A lot of people in Nova Scotia seem to be connected to the weather and they understand the changes and see the changes one on one. A lot of Nova Scotians are wondering how they can contribute to this battle against climate change and how do they incorporate adapting to the impacts over time.”

Nova Scotians can look to the David Suzuki Foundation for some simple answers. In a July website post, (https://davidsuzuki.org/ what-you-can-do/top-10-ways-can-stop-climate-change/) the foundation identified a number of ways that individuals can make a difference in the battle against global warming, rising sea levels, more extreme weather events and prolonged droughts.

“It’s important to get everyone on board, working toward climate solutions,” the foundation post said.

Transportation accounts for 24 per cent of climate-polluting emissions in Canada, the foundation said. Canadians can reduce emissions by taking public transit, riding a bike, car-sharing and switching to hybrid or electric vehicles.

The foundation urged Canadians to become more energy efficient by washing clothes in cold water, unplugging electronics when not in use, changing to energy-efficient light bulbs, hanging out clothes and using dryer balls, installing programmable thermostats and by winterizing homes to prevent heat escape.

Canadians use too much, too much of it is toxic and we don’t share it very well, the foundation concluded. Sharing, making, fixing, upcycling, repurposing and composting are all good places to start to make a difference.

The foundation encouraged people to buy local, not to waste food, to grow their own and to eat meat-free meals.

The foundation said all levels of government can have an effect on climate change preparation and adaptation. Eligible voters, the foundation said, should ask questions, do their research and make their votes count in the fight against climate change.

Finally, the foundation urges individuals to share their stories.

“People are more often influenced by friends than by experts, so make sure to talk about climate change with friends and family. Tell your stories — about changes you’ve seen where you live, how climate change has affected you, and the changes you’re making to lessen your impact.”

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